Live Blog

All the latest news on flight MH17 and Gaza-Israel

Sorcha Pollak Fri, Jul 18
 
LIVE: Live Blog

Sort by:

  • Latest first
  • Oldest first
  • This event has now ended
  • 09:15
    Good morning and welcome to today's live blog with Sorcha Pollak. I'll be covering all the latest news and updates on the situation in Gaza and the aftermath of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash in Ukraine yesterday. If you have any comments or suggestions you can tweet me @SorchaPollak
  • 09:19

    The latest death toll from the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash has risen to 298 people, including three infants.


    This number includes:
    Netherlands - 154
    Malaysia - 43 (including 15 crew and 2 infants)
    Australia - 27
    Indonesia - 12 (including 1 infant)
    UK - 9
    Germany - 4
    Belgium - 4
    Philippines - 3
    Canada - 1
    New Zealand - 1


    There are still 40 unverified nationalities

  • 09:21

    "The Russians are done for,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said following the flight MH17 crash yesterday in Ukraine. “This is an international crime which must be investigated by the international tribunal in The Hague".

    Speaking at a meeting in Kiev, he said that Ukraine should prepare for "full restrictions" on trade with Russia, Interfax-Ukraine news agency reports.

  • 09:22
  • 09:25
    Malaysia’s transport minister is currently holding a news conference on the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash. You can watch it live here.
  • 09:26
  • 09:31

    Scientists, researchers and experts who were travelling to an Aids conference in Melbourne, Australia are believed to have been on board the Malaysia Airlines flight that crashed in Ukraine.


    The World Health Organisation has confirmed that employee Glenn Thomas, who worked in media relations for the WHO, is among the dead.


    A WHO spokesman said: "We are waiting for confirmation on whether there were any others from the World Health Organisation on the flight as we were sending a huge delegation to the conference. As yet, Glenn is the only one we're aware of."

  • 09:31
  • 09:48
    A Dutch man believed to be a passenger on flight MH17 posted an image of a Malaysia Airlines plane on his Facebook page before yesterday's crash.
Cor Pan wrote on Facebook “This is what it looks like in case it goes down.'
    A Dutch man believed to be a passenger on flight MH17 posted an image of a Malaysia Airlines plane on his Facebook page before yesterday's crash. Cor Pan wrote on Facebook “This is what it looks like in case it goes down."
  • 09:57

    A Scottish couple and their son had a very lucky escape yesterday after they switched from the Malaysia Airlines flight because it was full.

    Barry Sim and his family was unable to board flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur because it was full, the BBC reported. Mr Sim, his wife Izzy and baby son booked onto a KLM flight when they discovered there was only one seat available on MH17.


    "You get this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach,” Mr Sim told the BBC after hearing of the crash. “We started getting butterflies. Your heartbeat starts going."


    Mr Sim, who is thought to be from Methlick in Aberdeenshire, said he believed the couple should take the KLM flight despite his wife’s fear of another crash.


    "In my mind, lightning never strikes twice in the same place so I am still philosophical that you get on the flight and you go about your life. I know my wife doesn't feel like that. Probably the last thing she wants to do now is fly, especially to Kuala Lumpur."


    "There must have been someone watching over us and saying 'You must not get on that flight,’ said Izzy Sim. “We are very loyal to Malaysia Airlines and we always want to fly with Malaysia Airlines."

  • 10:07

    It’s been reported that the prominent HIV researcher and former president of the International AIDS Society Joep Lange and his partner Jacqueline van Tongreen were among those killed in the MH17 disaster. Mr Lange was on his way to the global Aids 2014 conference in Melbourne, Australia.


    "Joep was a great clinical scientist, and a great friend of the Wellcome Trust who has long been a valued adviser,” said Dar Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust.   “He was also a personal friend. He is a great loss to global health research. The thoughts and sympathies of all of us at the Trust are with his family and other families who have lost loved ones in this tragedy."


    Mr Lange had been involved in HIV treatment and research since 1983. He was Professor of Medicine at the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam and Senior Scientific Advisor to the International Antiviral Therapy Evaluation Centre, Amsterdam.

  • 10:09
  • 10:10
  • 10:17

    A Sydney based Catholic nun and teacher named Sister Philomene Tiernan was among those killed in yesterday’s airline disaster.

    In a letter to the school, the principal of Sydney’s Kincoppal-Rose Bay school, Hilary Johnston-Croke, wrote that she had head from “Phil” yesterday morning.


    “She told me that she had left Joigny, where she had been attending a retreat, in Paris while there, she saw Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat in her caisse at St Francis Xavier Church, which was a very special moment for her.


    Phil was a very much loved staff member and friend. She contributed greatly to our community and she touched the lives of all at KRB in such a positive and meaningful way.


    We are devastated by the loss of such a wonderfully kind, wise and compassionate woman who was greatly loved by us all. She was a great friend and mentor to me personally.”


    It is still unknown whether Sister Philomene was originally from Australia and if she has family in Ireland.

  • 10:23
    A screen showing arrival details of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 (4th from top) is seen at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang July 18, 2014. The Malaysian Boeing 777 airliner was brought down over eastern Ukraine yesterday, killing all 295 people aboard and sharply raising stakes in a conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels in which Russia and the West back opposing sides. Photograph: Samsul Said/ Reuters
    A screen showing arrival details of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 (4th from top) is seen at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang July 18, 2014. The Malaysian Boeing 777 airliner was brought down over eastern Ukraine yesterday, killing all 295 people aboard and sharply raising stakes in a conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels in which Russia and the West back opposing sides. Photograph: Samsul Said/ Reuters
  • 10:25
    Malaysia Airlines have said that any information about the MH17 investigation will come from Ukraine and not from Malaysia.
    The only information to come from the airline is the passenger manifest, according to the BBC.
  • 10:36

    A family from Queensland in Australia who lost a son and daughter-in-law on flight MH370 are believed to have lost more family members in yesterday’s MH17 crash in Ukraine, reports the Couurier Mail.


    Irene and George Burrows, from Biloela in cenral Queensland, lost their son Rodney and daughter-in-law Mary aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March of this year.


    “It’s been a very trying day,” said Irene’s son Greg Burrows. “This has just blown everyone clean out of the water.”

  • 10:38
  • 10:42
  • 10:43
    Updated death toll

    Netherlands: 173
    Malaysia: 44
    Australia: 27
    Indonesia: 12
    UK: 9
    Germany: 4
    Belgium: 4
    Philippines: 3
    Canada: 1
    New Zealand: 1
    Unknown: 20

  • 10:51

    Let’s take a break from news on flight MH17 to look at the latest from the Gaza-Israel situation.


    Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel is preparing to step up its Gaza offensive after ground troops were sent into the Palestinian enclave.


    “My instructions ... are to prepare for the possibility of significantly widening the ground operation, and the military is preparing accordingly,” he told reporters before convening a meeting of cabinet ministers to discuss the operation.


    Israeli troops swarmed into Gaza early today, using tanks and infantry to battle Hamas fighters.


    Palestinian health officials said 23 Palestinians had been killed since Israel launched its ground offensive against the densely-populated strip of 1.8 million Palestinians yesterday. Israel said one of its soldiers had been killed in fighting.

  • 10:53
  • 10:54
  • 10:55
  • 10:59

    Reporting from Gaza City, Ruadhán Mac Cormaic describes life in Gaza city during yesterday’s temporary ceasefire.


    “The five-hour humanitarian window, during which Israel and Hamas agreed to a UN request for a cessation, brought many people out of their homes for the first time in a week, transforming the ghostly streets of recent days to scenes verging on normality.


    It was a temporary respite, but on the streets of Gaza, those five hours felt like the city finally had a chance to breathe for the first time in 10 days. Buzzing drones could be heard overhead, but otherwise the sky was reassuringly quiet and the tension and fear that hung over the city on Wednesday had lifted.

    People ventured out for the first time, stocking up on food and catching up with friends. Yesterday was the first day in several weeks that Gaza’s banks and ATMs were open, so more than 150 people queued at several banks to receive their salaries or withdraw much-needed cash for supplies.”

  • 11:01
    The Palestinian death toll since the start of the conflict now exceeds 250, including at least 11 who were killed last night, according to the Guardian. Israel launched air strikes against more than 100 targets overnight.

  • 11:04
    Israel suffered its first military casualty last night when 20-year-old Eitan Barak was killed during ground fighting. It’s believed the soldier was killed by so-called friendly fire in the north of Gaza. Two others were injured in the attack.
  • 11:06
  • 11:06
  • 11:12

    Back to the latest news on the MH17 tragedy.


    Two Newcastle United fans travelling to see their team play in New Zealand are feared to be among the victims of the Malaysia Airlines tragedy, reports the Press Association.


    The fans’ website NUFC.com reported that John Alder and Liam Sweeney were on board flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine yesterday.


    Mr Alder, believed to be in his 60s, and Mr Sweeney, 28, were flying to New Zealand to watch their team play in a pre-season tour.


    A tribute on the website said: “Both were well known to away followers, particularly John, whose usual match day attire led to the affectionate nickname of ‘The Undertaker’.


    “Both were in attendance at Oldham on Tuesday, doing what they loved. Our thoughts are with their friends, families and the many fans who knew them by sight.


    “Watching Newcastle will never be the same again.”

  • 11:16
    A woman, who said she believed her sister was on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, cries as she waits for more information about the crashed plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang July 18, 2014. Photograph: Samsul Said/Reuters
    A woman, who said she believed her sister was on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, cries as she waits for more information about the crashed plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang July 18, 2014. Photograph: Samsul Said/Reuters
  • 11:19
    Luggage and belongings are seen near the site of yesterday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. World leaders have demanded an international investigation into the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 with 298 people on board over eastern Ukraine. Photograph: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters
    Luggage and belongings are seen near the site of yesterday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region. World leaders have demanded an international investigation into the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 with 298 people on board over eastern Ukraine. Photograph: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters
  • 11:21
    Debris is pictured at the site of Thursday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash. Photograph: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters
    Debris is pictured at the site of Thursday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash. Photograph: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters
  • 11:24
    Ukraine's foreign ministry says a total of 181 bodies have been recovered from the crash site so far, Interfax-Ukraine news agency reports.
  • 11:25
    The National Bureau of Air Accidents Investigation of Ukraine has invited international aviation organizations and representatives of the Malaysian and Dutch aviation authorities to investigate the crash of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 airplane in the Donetsk region, writes Interfax-Ukraine.
  • 11:29
    The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that “about 100” of the 298 people on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 were heading to Melbourne for a major AIDS conference. These included medical researchers, health workers and activists.
  • 11:33
    The front page of Saturday 19th July (tomorrow's) edition of the Sydney Morning Herald
    The front page of Saturday 19th July (tomorrow's) edition of the Sydney Morning Herald
  • 11:50
    A recording has been released of a conversation between a man identified as a Russian military commander and rebel fighters in which they reportedly discuss the downing of a passenger jet over eastern Ukraine, shortly after flight MH17 crashed yesterday.  

    The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) has said the leaked audio is between a rebel fighter named ‘Bes’, Russian Colonel Vasyl Mykolaiovych Geranin and Cossack military leader Mukola Kozitsyn discussing the downing of the Malaysia airline.

  • 11:52
  • 12:15

    The US has criticised Russia for supporting separatists in Ukraine and has urged Vladamir Putin’s government to take “concrete steps” towards de-escalation, reports the Guardian.


    In a televised interview former US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said there were strong indications Russian-backed militia were to blame and that action was needed to “put Putin on notice that he has gone too far and we are not going to stand idly by”.


    "Europeans have to be the ones to take the lead on this,” Ms Clinton told the American PBS network. “It was a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over European territory. There should be outrage in European capitals."


    Barack Obama, Joe Biden and John Kerry have stopped short of directly blaming pro-Russian rebels for the missile attack.


    Joe Biden, the vice-president, said the plane had "apparently had been shot down. Shot down, not an accident. Blown out of the sky."

  • 12:18
    A man looks at the wreckage of passenger plane Air Malaysia flight MH17 in Grabovka, Ukraine. Air Malaysia flight MH17 which was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed yesterday on the Ukraine/Russia border near the town of Shaktersk. Photograph: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images
    A man looks at the wreckage of passenger plane Air Malaysia flight MH17 in Grabovka, Ukraine. Air Malaysia flight MH17 which was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed yesterday on the Ukraine/Russia border near the town of Shaktersk. Photograph: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images
  • 12:21
  • 12:22
  • 12:32

    According to Prof Robin Weiss from UCL “not since the loss of Jonathan Mann and his wife on the sabotaged Swiss Air flight to Geneva 17 years ago has the HIV/AIDS research community suffered such a great loss”.

    Her comments come following the death of Joep Lange, and his partner Jacqueline von Tongeren, in yesterday’s air disaster.


    Mr Lange was a prominent HIV researcher and former president of the International AIDS Society.

  • 12:34

    Four British men have been named as victims of the MH17 crash, reports the Guardian.


    Glenn Thomas, a media officer with the World Health Organisation, was described as a "wonderful person and a great professional" by colleagues.


    John Alder and Liam Sweeney were on their way to watch Newcastle United play in a pre-season tour in New Zealand, according to fan site NUFC.com


    A fourth victim was named as Richard Mayne, a student from Leeds.

  • 12:35
  • 12:41

    Ukraine is planning to demand that Russia name the three Russian servicemen who launched the missile at Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine yesterday, reports Interfax-Ukraine.


    Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) Chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko said "It is most important for us to get, including through international institutions (during a hearing at special UN and OSCE meetings), from the Russian side the names of all three crewmembers - Russian servicemen – who directly managed a Buk anti-aircraft missile system and directly pressed the trigger and launched a missile against a civilian passenger aircraft."


    "It is important to publish all evidence related to the criminal actions of border guards and the Border Service of the Russian FSB who contributed and transported from their side of the border a very dangerous missile system that was now used against civilians from Europe, Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries," he said.

  • 12:50

    A deleted social media post by a separatist militia leader has claimed that his forces shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 yesterday in Ukraine. Igor Girkin, also known as Strelkov, posted that his forces shot down a plane in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine at 5.50pm (GMT+4).


    “We have issued warnings not to fly in our airspace. We have video confirming. The bird fell on a waste heap. Residential areas were not hit. Civilians were not injured,” he reportedly posted.


    “The plane has just been taken down somewhere around Torez,” he wrote on VKontakte, Russia’s version of Facebook. “We did warn you: do not fly in our skies.”


    Mr Girkin’s post has been deleted from VKontakte.

  • 12:53
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Moscow does not plan to take the “black box” flight recorders from pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, reports Reuters.

  • 12:54
  • 12:58

    Back to news on the Gaza-Israel situation.

    Israel has said it is reducing its diplomatic presence in Turkey after protesters angered by its ground offensive into Gaza pelted its consulate in Istanbul with stones and draped Palestinian flags on the ambassador's residence in Ankara, writes Reuters.


    The Israeli foreign ministry accused the Turkish authorities of "grossly violating" diplomatic regulations during the demonstrations and said it was ordering the return of diplomats' families and trimming staffing to a minimum.


    "I'm warning Israel once again that there will be much more serious consequences if it does not stop its aggressiveness and the escalation of incidents," Turkish President Abdullah Gul told reporters before a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Mr Gul urged the UN Security Council to take a stand.


    Israel stepped up its land offensive in the Gaza Strip with artillery, tanks and gunboats this morning after Islamist militants there rejected a proposed truce and kept firing rockets into the Jewish state.

    Israel warned it could "significantly widen" an operation that Palestinian officials said had killed 258 people in Gaza in 10 days, most of them civilians.

  • 13:01
    A Palestinian family who fled their homes en route to seek shelter in a UN school in Khan Younis, central Gaza Strip. At least 24 Palestinians were killed overnight into Friday - with dozens more reported injured - officials said, as Israel ratcheted up its offensive in the Gaza Strip with ground troops. 

The overall death toll in the densely populated coastal enclave has climbed to more than 260, with 2,000 injured, many of them civilians, Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra said. Photograph: Oli
    A Palestinian family who fled their homes en route to seek shelter in a UN school in Khan Younis, central Gaza Strip. At least 24 Palestinians were killed overnight into Friday - with dozens more reported injured - officials said, as Israel ratcheted up its offensive in the Gaza Strip with ground troops. The overall death toll in the densely populated coastal enclave has climbed to more than 260, with 2,000 injured, many of them civilians, Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra said. Photograph: Oli
  • 13:08
    Israeli soldiers travel in armoured personnel carriers (APCs) outside the Gaza Strip today. Israeli gunboats lit up the sky with their fire before dawn while helicopters fired into the coastal enclave. Hamas fired mortar rounds at the invading troops and rockets across the border at the southern Israeli towns of Ashdod and Ashkelon. Photograph: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters
    Israeli soldiers travel in armoured personnel carriers (APCs) outside the Gaza Strip today. Israeli gunboats lit up the sky with their fire before dawn while helicopters fired into the coastal enclave. Hamas fired mortar rounds at the invading troops and rockets across the border at the southern Israeli towns of Ashdod and Ashkelon. Photograph: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters
  • 13:13
  • 13:18

    Pope Francis telephoned Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this morning to express his "very grave concerns" over the conflict in Gaza, the Vatican said.


    The pontiff, who hosted a prayer meeting with the two leaders in the Vatican last month, called on all sides to work for an end to hostilities and for peace and reconciliation.
     

  • 13:29
  • 13:30
    Video footage taken by passenger and posted on instagram before Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 departed from Amsterdam.
  • 13:30
  • 13:52
    One entire family was wiped out on in the flight MH17 crash yesterday, reports the Wall Street Journal.

    The family–Tambi Jiee, 49; the mother, Ariza Ghazalee, 47; and their four children, Mohd Afif, 19, Mohd Afzal, 17, Marsha Azmeena, 15, and Mohd Afruz, 13–was moving back to Malaysia from Kazakhstan, where they had lived for the past three years. Mr Tambi worked for the oil company Shell in Kazakhstan. He was being posted back to Malaysia.

    Noraini Mohd Hol, a cousin of Ms Ariza, told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport that the family had gone for a holiday in Europe and was taking the flight back to Malaysia from Amsterdam.

    Ms Ariza worked for a private organization and had taken unpaid leave to be with her husband. Their eldest son, Mohd Afif, was a college student in Kuala Lumpur. His three siblings lived in Kazakhstan and studied there.

  • 13:59

    Pro-Russian separatists have said they will welcome experts from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and from Ukraine's government to the crash site of the Malaysian airliner, one of their leaders said on Friday according to Reuters.


    "Today 17 new workers and four official experts from Kiev arrived in Donetsk. Soon they are due to arrive at the site of the tragedy. We support the maximum number of experts possible," Sergei Kavtaradze said.

  • 14:05

    Flight MH17 took a route 300 miles to the north of its usual path, according to an aviation expert.

    Robert Mark, a commercial pilot who edits Aviation International News Safety magazine, said that most Malaysia Airline flights from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur normally travelled along a route significantly further south than the plane which crashed, writes the Telegraph.


    "I can only tell you as a commercial pilot myself that if we had been routed that way, with what's been going on in the Ukraine and the Russian border over the last few weeks and months, I would never have accepted that route.”

    "I went into the FlightAware system, which we all use these days to see where airplanes started and where they tracked, and I looked back at the last two weeks' worth of MH17 flights, which was this one.”

    “And the flight today tracked very, very much further north into the Ukraine than the other previous flights did ... there were MH17 versions that were 300 miles south of where this one was."
    Malaysia Airlines has said its plane travelled on an "approved route" used by many other carriers.

  • 14:09
  • 14:37
    Latest list of passengers on board flight MH17.
    189 – Netherlands
    29 – Malaysia
    27 – Australia
    12 – Indonesia
    9 – UK
    4 – Germany
    4- Belgium
    3 – Philippines
    1 – Canada
    1 – New Zealand
    Four passengers have yet to be identified

  • 14:40

    Russian president Vladamir Putin has called for opposing side in Ukraine to lay down their arms and enter talks following the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 yesterday in eastern Ukraine, reports the Guardian.


    An statement from the Kremlin said the Russian president believed the "state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy" while the Ukraine's foreign minister, Pavlo Klimkin, said there was no chance the missile was of Ukrainian military origin.

  • 14:42
  • 15:04

    French president Francois Hollande has confirmed that none of the passengers aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight that crashed were French nationals, writes the WSJ.
    The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, had told reporters yesterday that a minimum of four French nationals were aboard the flights.

  • 15:07

    The presidents of Iran and Russia discussed by telephone on Friday the need for an end to the conflict in Gaza and renewed Israeli-Palestinian talks, the Kremlin said.


    The conversation between Russia's Vladimir Putin and Iran's Hassan Rouhani was initiated by Tehran and was prompted by concerns over the "sharp escalation of the crisis" since Israel began its land offensive in Gaza, says Reuters.


    "Both sides stressed the need for a speedy end to the armed conflict and the resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations," the Kremlin said. The two leaders also spoke about negotiations over Iran's nuclear programme, it said.

  • 15:11
    Injured children are carried to a hospital in Gaza City. Shifa Hospital is one of the few sites in Gaza where electricity continues to function on Friday, where some doctors and nurses have worked nearly nonstop for 11 days. Photograph: Tyler Hicks/The New York Times<br /><br />
    Injured children are carried to a hospital in Gaza City. Shifa Hospital is one of the few sites in Gaza where electricity continues to function on Friday, where some doctors and nurses have worked nearly nonstop for 11 days. Photograph: Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

  • 15:17
    The UN Security Council has issued a statement calling for a “full, thorough and independent international investigation” into the place crash, and “appropriate accountability”.
  • 15:21
    The Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte is giving a live press conference and says Dutch investigators from the Dutch safety unit will travel to the site of the MH17 crash in Ukraine. The Netherlands lost the largest number of passengers on board flight MH17 (189) which crashed yesterday.   Mr Rutte said “the Netherlands is shocked by this terrible event.”
  • 15:22
    "We will turn every stone and if it becomes clear that this was an attack I will be personally responsible for guaranteeing that the people responsible will be determined. That's what we owe the innocent victims and their families" - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
  • 15:23
    Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, has said he has spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who promised Russia would guarantee a full, international, independent inquiry.
  • 15:27
  • 15:41

    Samantha Power, US envoy to the UN, is currently speaking at the United Nations and has said "We cannot rule out technical assistance from Russian personnel... This [the attack on the plane] follows a pattern of actions by Russia-backed separatists"


    “The victims came from at least 9 different nations.., we must treat all of them as our own victims. We have a duty to them... and their countries to determine why that jet fell out of the sky and to hold the perpetrators accountable.”


    “This war can be ended. Russia can end this war. Russia must end this war.”

  • 15:44
  • 15:53

    The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe has sent 30 of its monitors to the site of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in eastern Ukraine. A spokeswoman for the OSCE says she hopes they will arrive in the area later today.


    She added the monitors would be there to “gather facts” and weren’t part of the investigative experts, reports the WSJ.

  • 16:06
    Personal belongings and luggage of passengers between debris of the Boeing 777, Malaysia Arilines flight MH17, which crashed while flying over the eastern Ukraine region near Donetsk, Ukraine. The plane was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members, the airline said. Photograph: ANASTASIA VLASOVA/EPA
    Personal belongings and luggage of passengers between debris of the Boeing 777, Malaysia Arilines flight MH17, which crashed while flying over the eastern Ukraine region near Donetsk, Ukraine. The plane was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members, the airline said. Photograph: ANASTASIA VLASOVA/EPA
  • 16:14

    "The shooting down of the Malaysian airliner may be a war crime under the Geneva Convention," Dr James Summers, Director of the Centre for International Law and Human Rights at Lancaster University, has told the BBC.


    "Malaysia could be entitled to bring the state responsible for the shooting down of the airliner, or providing the missiles to do so, before the International Court of Justice," he said.

  • 16:16
  • 16:16
  • 16:19

    France has asked Qatar, which has close links with Hamas, to use its influence with the Palestinian Islamist group to reach a ceasefire in the conflict in Gaza, a French diplomatic source said today, according to Reuters.


    Israel intensified its land offensive in Gaza with artillery, tanks and gunboats on Friday and warned it could "significantly widen" an operation Palestinian officials said was killing an increasing number of civilians.


    Qatar emerged as a leading supporter of Islamist groups after Arab Spring protests that began in 2011. It sees the standoff as a chance to play a key role in trying to broker a ceasefire.
    Qatar's state news agency said Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah had received a phone call from French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Friday in which they "searched for ways to reach an agreement on a ceasefire".

  • 16:21
  • 16:33
    That’s all from our live coverage of flight MH17 and the Gaza-Israel situation.

    For more from Gaza City be sure to follow Irish Times journalist Ruadhán Mac Cormaic who is reporting from Palestine @RuadhanIT.

    For updates on Malaysia Airlines MH17 keep checking irishtimes.com and follow our Ukraine correspondent Dan McLaughlin @DanMcL99.